Horror Museums

Madame Tussauds London: Wax, Scares And Fun Thrills

We have already written about the scary sides of London more than once on our website, with famous attractions (more or less) recommended to any horror fan. Another central part of the horror world is the wax museums; they also have the potential to scare – And thanks to the movies that showed us that. If you connect these two poles, you get one of London’s most famous and sought-after attractions, not just for horror fans. The London Wax Museum, aka Madame Tussauds, is a must-see when visiting the English capital. What exactly does the wax museum in London offer us, how scary is seeing it, and what little tips can greatly improve the experience of visiting the museum? 

Madame Tussauds London History

If you’ve never heard the name Madame Tussauds, you may have too much wax in your ears. That network includes about 25 wax museums worldwide; the first and probably the most famous is located in London. The French wax sculptor Marie Tussaud is the living soul (well, not really anymore) behind the museums.

Tussaud got her inspiration from Dr. Philip Curtius, her mother’s employer in whose home she grew up. Curtius, who then engaged in wax sculpting as a hobby, taught Marie Tussaud everything there is to know about wax art. Her first sculpture, of the writer and the enlightened French philosopher Voltaire, was created as early as 1777. After that, she assembled a collection of sculptures, with which she moved to London towards the end of the 18th century. 

London Sightseeing Pass

In 1835, Marie Tussaud opened the first wax museum on Baker Street, famous for the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes, who lived there in Arthur Conan Doyle’s books. In 1884 the Wax Museum in London changed its address to Marylebone Road, where you can find it today.

Madame Tussauds London scary

Madame Tussauds London Today

Madame Tussauds London offers, you guessed it, an endless list of awe-inspiring wax sculptures made according to the working technique established by Marie Tussaud several centuries earlier. The museum offers hundreds of statues that change occasionally, with the current collection consisting of 11 different areas. 

In each of the museum’s areas, you will find dozens of sculptures with an imposing level of accuracy, which in most cases succeeds in accurately capturing the character and characteristics of the figure (which is not self-evident, refer to the wax exhibitions we have seen here in recent years, any connection between them and the original was accidental). And yes, next to most of the statues, you will find tourists taking selfies or pictures in the same poses without being aware that it looks ridiculous and especially annoying to the other tourists who want to take photos of the Madame Tussauds London wax figures without too much background interference. 

Madame Tussauds London Entrance
Madame Tussauds London Entrance. Photo: Jordiferrer. License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Who Is In Madame Tussauds London?

The list of wax figures at Madame Tussauds London includes:

Music: David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Adele, Britney Spears, Beyoncé, Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and others 

Cinema: for example, all six movie characters of James Bond, the Terminator played by Schwarzenegger, E.T, Steven Spielberg, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine, Katniss from “The Hunger Games” and others 

Sports: Muhammad Ali, Messi, Ronaldo, Pele, Usain Bolt, Rafael Nadal and more 

Marvel Madame Tussauds London: with characters such as Spider-Man, The Green Giant, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Iron Man, and The Black Panther 

The Royal Palace: royal or presidential wax figures from all over the world, with an emphasis on the British Kingdom. Elizabeth I, Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Charles III, Princess Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, Barack Obama, Napoleon and others 

Awards Party – A glittering “awards ceremony” with statues of Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Devin “The Rock” Johnson, David and Victoria Beckham, Mohamed Salah, and even some current “Hit Girls” like Zendaya 

Star Wars – a cool complex that recreates characters and scenes from the movies


Chamber of Horrors Madame Tussauds

In some of the categories we saw earlier, you will find some characters that can be associated with the world of horror to one degree or another. The good news is that at the Madame Tussauds wax museum in London, you will find a separate space dedicated to our greatest hobby, the Madame Tussauds Chamber Of Horrors.  

In 1802, Marie Tussaud opened a horror gallery in a separate room in her exhibition in London, also here inspired by a similar collection by the same Philip Curtius. Tussaud’s new addition, which included, among other things, heads of historical figures and sculptures of guillotines and other instruments of death, was an awe-inspiring success. 

Over the years, Marie has put together similar displays, so it is not surprising that the wax museums that bear her name also represent horror figures well. In 1996, the complex was renovated and included real and notorious characters, from more or less well-known British criminals to figures such as Vlad the Impaler or Adolf Hitler. In 2016, the London Wax Museum’s Chamber of Horrors closed to make way for the Sherlock Holmes exhibit. The good news is that in October 2022, Chamber of Horrors Madame Tussauds reopened in a different format.

Check this video, made for Madame Tussauds Chamber of Horrors reopening:

Suppose you’re looking for wax figures of horror icons from the movies, such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, Pennywise, and Chucky. In that case, this isn’t the place for you (at least at this point) – although some wax museums contain such an area, such as the New York branch of Madame Tussauds Or the smaller Barcelona Wax Museum. Instead, You will find real people from the dark history of London, spanning about 150 years, or as described on the museum’s website: “real crimes that affected real lives.”

The arsenal of characters of Madame Tussauds London’s “chamber of horrors” includes, among others:

The Kray brothers – identical twins at the heart of organized crime in London’s East End in the 1950s and 1960s, each serving a life sentence for murder. You may remember them from the 2015 film “The Legend of the Kray Brothers” starring the excellent Tom Hardy (who, by the way, is also on display at the wax museum)

John Christie – British serial killer and necrophile who murdered at least eight people in the 1940s and 1950s. He was caught and hanged for only one murder: his wife. Horrifyingly, his neighbor was wrongly hanged for some of Christie’s murders in an influential case of capital punishment in the UK.

John Hay – is a British serial killer known as the “Acid Bath Killer,” so you can understand exactly what horrible killing method he chose for his victims. He was convicted of murdering six people – although he claimed to have killed nine – and was hanged in 1949

Dennis Nielsen – murdered young people from the gay community in London between 1978 and 1983. It is unclear exactly how many young people he murdered, with critics claiming that the police did not take these cases seriously due to the characteristics of the victims

Ruth Ellis – Ruth Ellis was hanged in 1955 for murdering her husband (whom she said abused her). She is the last woman to receive the death penalty of this type in Britain and a major factor in why capital punishment was abolished at one point.

Jack the Ripper – Probably the most recognizable character on this list. “The killer from Whitechapel” murdered single women who engaged in prostitution in public places and in a ruthless way. Although his true identity is unknown to this day, and perhaps because of this, he is considered the central figure of the London horror mythology

Other experiences at Madame Tussauds London

On my previous visit to London, somewhere in the early 1990s, we enjoyed visiting a short but thoroughly enjoyable maze with a few scares from the horror genre. Today, unfortunately, this attraction does not exist in the museum, but you can find some experiences that look fun, and some of them are even related to horror:

Alien Escape

Do you like the “Alien” movies? Hard to believe not. This attraction, under the brilliant advertising sentence “At Madame Tussauds London everyone will hear you consume” (a paraphrase of the famous tagline of the film), opened in honor of the release of “Alien: Covenant” in 2017. You will find here the wax figure of Michael Fassbender and, of course, our favorite alien, including the recreation of some famous movie scenes. According to the museum website, this area is not recommended for children under 15 and people sensitive to scary sights.

Here is the trailer for the attraction, which looks a bit like a horror movie trailer:

Kong: Skull Island 

Kong: Skull Island is a likable action movie from 2014, starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, and others. In the film, which is a reboot of the “King Kong” films and the second film in the rebooted monster cinematic universe of Godzilla and King Kong, a group of explorers and military personnel crash land on an island that includes a giant gorilla and a few other surprises. The museum offers the possibility to meet the massive head of Kong, which moves thanks to advanced technology, and on the way there, encounter various traps and a wax figure of Captain James Cunard (Tom Hiddleston’s character in the film)

Spirit Of London Ride 

A ride in an iconic black London cab will take you between important, some traumatic, points in London’s history: the plague, the great fire, wars, and more. These stations combine wax figures, motion effects, sounds, and more. Although this is not a horror attraction in its essence, there are some sights here that may scare the little ones. Therefore, it is necessary to be accompanied by an adult under a certain age or height and consider whether this attraction suits your children.

Here is a POV video from the attraction. We recommend watching to get a general impression, but don’t give yourself too many spoilers:

Marvel Universe 4D 

A film in four dimensions, with effects such as wind and water, following the familiar characters from the expanded Marvel Cinematic Universe. Again, this attraction might be a little scary for younger kids. 

London Wax Museum – important information before the visit 

Opening Times Madame Tussauds London

Madame Tussauds in London is open almost every day. Still, the opening hours vary throughout the year, so we recommend you find out when the attraction is open during your visit. In general, during the busier times of the tourist calendar, the museum is open from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with the last admission at 5:00 PM.

Madame Tussauds London opening times may be more limited in other periods of the year, usually until 15:30-16:00.

Why Buy Tickets Online? 

The wax museum in London is a much sought-after tourist attraction, one of the most popular in the capital of England. The meaning is clear: although the line here passes relatively efficiently, you may encounter long lines that will somewhat impair the experience of your visit to London. Therefore, the clear recommendation is to purchase tickets in advance via the Internet, either the major ticket websites or the museum’s official website, some of which will save you the long lines at the entrance, or more precisely, the lines at the ticket counters (you can also view the digital tickets through your phone). 

Another and no less important advantage is that you can pay less by pre-ordering. The differences may even reach tens of pounds per ticket, an amount that is anything but obvious. 

The purchase will also ensure you can enter the museum at the appointed time. At the same time, the alternative of buying tickets at the box office may result in a situation where the tickets run out, or only tickets remain at less convenient times (for example, before the museum closes). It doesn’t happen often, but it’s a scenario that could come true.

Here you can check the availability of Madame Tussauds London through the Tiquets website: 

Madame Tussauds London Tickets And Combinations 

Note that you can find different types of tickets and combine the wax museum with other prominent attractions that London offers – which may lower your costs for each attraction. 

As of 2023, these are the main card types: 

General admission ticket (Standard Ticket), depending on the time you choose 

A Fast Track card, which allows you to skip the lines and enter the museum through a designated entrance much faster 

A combined ticket of Madame Tussauds and the London Eye, London’s famous giant wheel. There is also a ticket that combines fast entry to each of these attractions. 

Madame Tussauds, London Eye, and London Aquarium (Sea Life) combo ticket 

A combined Madame Tussauds ticket and two attractions of your choice from London’s variety. One of the successful combinations for horror fans is The London Dungeon, which we wrote about on the website not long ago. 

VIP ticket, which includes express entry, digital photo package, and Guide Book

Buy On Get Your Guide

Buy on Viator

Buy on Tiquets

Where Is Madame Tussauds In London? 

The Madame Tussauds London wax museum is located on Marylebone Road, a very short distance from Baker Street (which also has a nice little museum dedicated to Sherlock Holmes) and the well-kept Regent’s Park.

How To Get To Madame Tussauds London?

In London, as in London, you can reach it quite easily using one of the city’s efficient means of public transport: 

Metro: The nearest station is Baker Street Station, which is about a two-minute walk away 

Train: about a ten-minute walk from Marylebone station 

Bus: lines 2, 13, 18, 27, 30, 74, 113, 139, 189, 205, 275, and 453 reach a distance of about five minutes walk from the museum 

Rental car: You don’t think about renting a car in London. 

We recommend using real-time applications, such as Google Maps, to check the fastest and most convenient way to get to Madame Tussauds London address, according to your location and the specific time.

Other Scary Attractions In London

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